Stupid Questions - Luxembourg Expat 2018

There are a lot of resources around for expats in Luxembourg. Most of the information is to detailed.

A big fat warning is that some information might be incorrect and I am not accountable for this. Feel free to leave a comment if this should be the case.

Getting banked

A proof of employment or residency in Luxembourg is usually required. Having an account in another Eurozone country usually suffices to get started in Luxembourg as payments in the Eurozone have been standardized.

Tip: check if your employer has a corporate package with a bank, better conditions may apply in that case.

Banks in order of perceived expat friendliness: ING Luxembourg BGL BNP Paribas Banque et Caisse d'Epargne de l'Etat (BCEE) / Spuerkeess Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL) * Post Luxembourg

Getting insured

  • LALUX - La Luxembourgeoise
  • Foyer
  • AXA Luxembourg
  • Bâloise

Finding a bank

The main banks in alphabetical order:

  • Banque et Caisse d'Epargne de l'Etat (BCEE) / Spuerkeess
  • Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL), this bank used to be called Dexia
  • BGL BNP Paribas
  • ING Luxembourg
  • Post Luxembourg / Raiffeisen, two different banks but they share some services

I recommend to become client with a bank that has experience with international customers and some even offer complete expat packages. Also, ask you HR department for advice as they might have agreements with some banks offering discounts.

The differences

But as with most things, the differences are in the details.

Belgium banks distribute dual branded Bancontact (domestic) and Maestro (internationally) cards. These cards are fully e-commerce enabled and some banks equip them with a contactless payments technology. Credit cards are less popular within Belgium but international travelers will probably carry one. Beware, a prepaid card is not a real credit card and will not work at toll stations in France or some car parks in Luxembourg.

The Luxembourgish banks distribute V Pay (Europe-only) cards. They all support contactless payments but are not e-commerce enabled. If you want to shop online you will need a credit card such as VISA or MasterCard. There is however an alternative called Digicash, allowing for smartphone payments. Acceptance is very limited.

From my personal experience I can vouch that support of V Pay is not how it should be yet. Many small businesses and even some large retailers like the Colruyt do not support V Pay in every store.

Getting communication

Mobile communication

Your phone should work optimal in Luxembourg if you have a phone that is developed for the European market.

The main mobile providers in Luxembourg are:

  • JOIN Experience (MNVO)
  • Orange Luxembourg
  • Post Luxembourg
  • Tango

From this list, JOIN Experience offers an BELUX joint bundle where you have one subscription with two numbers, one in Belgium and the other in Luxembourg. In my opinion it is not very useful to create a list as the tariffs for international calls will change from 2017-06-15 onwards.

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